Moving house is stressful but not far behind that is the work of having your home painted.
I have spent the last three weeks getting my apartment’s first paint job —and some serious plastering — in over a decade.
The real work for me was packing up each room, then unpacking so the next room could be addressed. The bedroom moved into the living room, the kitchen into the dining area, the dining area into the living room. Entryway decorations lived in my car. It gave me time to think: Continue reading Nine Tips And Reflections on Painting→
I’ve been trying to write a sweet post about decorating with light for the past week. But the inauguration had me too sad for pretty word pictures.
I wanted to show how I used a combination of tealight candles, battery-operated candles and battery-operated Christmas lights to transform the dark end of my living room. I wrapped bright lights around the top of my decorative lighthouse and I like it so much, it will stay that way all year long. It seemed appropriate to create my own personal beacon. Light is safety; it prevents bumps and bruises. Light shows what things really look like; a truly lit object will show its details and flaws. Continue reading The Light At The End…→
I would have thought that by now we’d all be using sustainable energy. Solar lighting, for instance, is being promoted in countries that lack the extensive power grid that we have. It would be great if we could buy those same solar products, with the profits going into providing even more solar where it is needed.
However, it’s difficult to make these ideas reality. Oh yeah, the big ones like keeping my job or choosing the right lip color, I can handle those. It’s the ones that involve making unique stuff that trip me up.
It’s interesting how little it takes to make a small home feel refreshed. I discarded boxes, gave some stuff away, moved things around and found room to stretch my imagination. Seems I had more glass stones than I thought I had, but they’re so versatile! I’ve had the clear ones for years. They rinsed clean after I put them on top of soil in flower pots. They held a fake topiary in place. They lived in a candy dish.
One thing I like about decorating for Christmas is that it gives me an annual opportunity to reimagine my home, to see what makes me happy, what I consider important. This year I used a fraction of the decorations that I have collected over the decades. “Less is more.”
It’s hard to believe that after busy months of preparation and a couple of dizzying credit card bills, Christmas is over. I’ll keep the cheerful decorations up as long as I can; I’m a sucker for tree lights and candles. (The picture above shows a candle lighting up my kitchen table.)
In the past week I’ve celebrated with family and friends, missed my Los Angeles sibling more than usual, reconnected with a California cousin who should have been a bigger part of my life and going forward, she will be. I was introduced to the game Trivia Crack and ate the best pasteles I’ve had in over ten years.
The warmth of the season is the physical glow of lights and the heartfelt glow of sharing feelings, knowledge and laughter. It’s the fireplace in my youngest brother’s house and the moist, fragrant air over an active stove.
I love that little saying. Although I was moved around a lot as a young child, it wasn’t until I was a parent myself that I lived in an actual house, a free-standing structure that I paid a mortgage on and gardened around, cleaned and repaired as best I could. It wasn’t large but it was a home where teenagers could feel comfortable and family often celebrated holidays.
I kind of like buying Christmas gifts. It forces me to consider what the recipient, usually somebody I care about, would actually like. As I read the annual lists of suggestions and guides, though, I wonder, “Who buys this stuff?” Cutesy, impractical apparel, delicate looking toys, designer food. If I presented this to my family I would hear a rousing chorus of “What the hell is this?”
And rightly so. We are not that demographic who follow short-lived trends, at least those of us past high school age. We like real stuff: wine, cash, jewelry, my almost-annual gift to Dad of a new sweater.
Ah. to be so inspired by a book that I’m rummaging through the kitchen, taking pictures of seemingly random objects. I was gifted with a copy of Real Simple 869 New Uses for Old Things. I thought I was quite the creative homemaker but there was so much didn’t know. And yet, I wondered, what to do with shot glasses when I’m not known for drinking anything straight up, let alone gulped in one guzzle? That’s one use they didn’t cover.